Oculus co-founder and Rift inventor Palmer Luckey quietly exits Facebook
Palmer Luckey only needed a few years to go from part-time groundskeeper, youth sailing coach, computer repair specialist and early VR enthusiast to industry pioneer, world-renowned inventor, wealthy entrepreneur and all-around tech celebrity.
But it was perhaps precisely this sudden rise to fame that made the precocious Oculus co-founder and Rift designer take a backseat in the recent growth of his “baby”, following what seemed like an excessive 2014 Facebook acquisition, and several controversies stirred by Luckey’s political views and donations.
While fans and media were constantly assured of the trailblazer’s “active” involvement in the now wholly owned Facebook subsidiary, his public appearances and even statements and tweets became rarer and rarer sights in the past year or so.
Basically, after hand-delivering the first ever Oculus Rift consumer unit roughly a year ago, Palmer Luckey made headlines by apologizing for his questionable political “actions” in the fall, and then nothing.
Until today, when we’re simply told he “will be dearly missed”, having “helped kickstart the modern VR revolution and build an industry” before parting ways with Facebook and simultaneously leaving behind the company he created. No word on the nature of the departure, as Zuckerberg’s social media juggernaut doesn’t like to discuss “internal personnel matters”, and of course, nothing we can tell you about financial terms or Luckey’s future plans.
What we do know is the virtual and augmented reality markets are in the midst of a major reorganization, as ex-Googler and Xiaomi heavyweight Hugo Barra recently joined Facebook to “lead” its VR efforts, one of the HTC Vive’s architects moved to Google’s Daydream camp, and Apple continues to recruit top talent for its own upcoming “paradigm shift.”